It was a weekend of almost for the Barton Community College softball team. The Cougars almost won three of the four games at the BUCO Bash at Butler Community College. They almost lost all four.
In the end, Barton won two and lost two. The Cougars won the opener Saturday in a close 6-5 decision over Northern Oklahoma-Enid then lost late Saturday night to Jefferson (Mo) College, 6-0. Barton dropped an extra inning affair Sunday to North Central Texas by a 14-11 score and won the finale 5-4 over Northern Oklahoma-Tonkawa.
“It is kind of the same old story,” Assistant Coach Anna Voss said. “We just need to pull everything together. We seem to hit the ball one game, pitch well or field in another. We just need to get it all going at once and we will be a pretty good team.”
The 2-2 mark put Barton over the 20-win plateau at 21-12. Barton played a pair of games Monday at Bartlesville, Okla. against Oklahoma Wesleyan.
Barton built a 6-1 lead in the opener against Enid then held on for the 1-run win. Brianna Ward and Erica Harper both doubled in the opening inning as Barton took a 2-0 lead. That increased to 4-0 in the top of the third as Kylie Everill singled in Ward and Harper scored on a Jenna Hosey single.
It reached 6-1 in the fifth as Harper and Everill led off the inning with back-to-back homers. Then it was a matter of holding on. Enid trimmed the lead to 6-2 with a run in the sixth then threatened to put together a big comeback in the bottom of the seventh.
The Jets scored three times – all with two outs – and had the tying run on third when the Cougars got the third out on a pop up to short. Holly Posegate collected the win to move to 8-5.
Barton mustered very little offense late Saturday night in a 6-0 loss to Jefferson. The Cougars managed just five hits the shutout – two each from Ward and Posegate. Jefferson had just eight hits but six walks from the Barton pitching staff helped the Vikings cause.
The first game Sunday was a crazy one. In just the first inning and half alone the lead changed three times and 11 runs were scored. North Central Texas scored three in the top of the first – all three unearned – and four more in the top of the second. Between that Barton put up four of its own in the bottom of the first. A 3-run homer by Harper and a solo blast from Hosey provided the Barton scoring.
The Lions led 10-5 as Barton came to bat in the bottom of the seventh. The Cougars comeback started with two outs as Barton scored five times with two outs to even the game at 10-all.
Posegate and Hosey each singled in a run then Baylee Bakovich doubled in those two to make it 10-9. Caitlin Garcia singled in Bakovich and Barton had tied the game up.
An error and three hits allowed the Lions to plate four runs in the extra frame. This time Barton’s 2-out rally produced just one run and North Central Texas secured the 14-11 extra inning win.
Harper had three more hits and four more RBI in the loss while Hosey also produced three hits. Five Barton errors allowed seven unearned runs to score.
The finale of the BUCO Bash for Barton was another close game. The Cougars had built a 5-1 lead then, again, had to hold off another rally.
Ward doubled in Bailey Hensley in the first for a 1-0. Ward homered in the third to score Bailey again to key a 3-run third for a 4-1 lead. Kylie Everill made it 5-1 with a single to score Ward in the top of the fifth.
Barton took that lead to the bottom of the sixth when the Mavericks rallied. Tonkawa put up three runs in the sixth to make it 5-4 but Posegate didn’t allow the tying to run to score as she went the distance for the win.
Harper was 4-for-4 at the plate and Ward drove in three runs to key the Cougars offense.
Harper continues to pound the ball. She is tied for the NJCAA lead in home runs with 13 and is sixth nationally with 53 RBI. Kylie Everill is top 20 in both with 10 homers and 43 RBI. As a team, Barton is fourth nationally with 45 home runs in 33 games.
The Cougars will start an 8-game stretch of four straight Jayhawk West doubleheaders Wednesday. Barton will travel to Colby Wednesday then host Seward County Saturday. Next week will be two more road twinbills at Dodge City and Butler.